Bob has been sent on a service call where the customer is complaining about her power bill. She thinks that the heat pump may be the problem. Her power bill is much higher than last year. She explained this to Bob and he started by asking a question, “Does the auxiliary heat light come on very often on your thermostat?”
Accurately troubleshooting and repairing refrigeration systems requires technicians to use many specialty instruments. They base many of their diagnoses on what is read from these instruments. Relying on them to be consistently accurate day in and day out is a must. If these tools are inaccurate, more than likely the diagnoses will be inaccurate.
This article is part two of a two-part series on ice flake machine troubleshooting. The last article, which appeared in the Feb. 7 NEWS, examined troubleshooting low and high water levels. This article will examine water impurities and mechanical problems.
Bob and Btu Buddy were on a service call yesterday where the compressor motor was running overloaded due to internal load; the bearings were dragging or worn. Btu Buddy told Bob, “Motor overload protection and circuit protection are subjects that need to be discussed later.” They’ve gotten together today for that discussion.
While repairing refrigeration equipment, technicians sometimes come up with unique methods of solving problems. Many of these are used again and again and become known as “tricks of the trade.” When a bunch of technicians get together, they oftentimes enjoy sharing new tricks they learned or developed recently. It’s like a badge of honor.
My Feb. 7 column focused on ice flake machine troubleshooting. I will have more to say on that specific topic in my April 4 column. For this column, I want to take a look at amperage as it relates to HVACR compressors.
In this month’s troubleshooting situation, our customer has called to say that the older package unit that heats and cools his office is managing to warm up the area, but then seems to cool down too much before providing heat again. When you arrive, the first thing you note is that the indoor blower motor is operating, and you check the fan switch setting on the thermostat.
Bob got a call from the dispatcher to go to an office building that has a 3-ton heat pump compressor that has been shutting off after startup. The fan would continue to run. The building maintenance man said that he had observed the shutting down of the compressor several times.
In my mind, there wasn’t much the residential market could throw at me. I should have guessed something was up by the half-amused look on my customer’s face when he described the problem as “a real hair raiser,” and that a measure of caution was in order … but what could be dangerous about a small furnace?